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What Do You Really Need?

Both cleverdude (parts one, two, and three) and Fabulously Broke in the City have been talking about what they could give up if push came to shove–luxuries, necessities, etc. I recently gave something up through sheer cheapness and laziness.

Since I was 11 or 12, I’ve had a problem with acne. I went through a particularly rough patch in my teen years–horrible in retrospect–and went on all kinds of medications to tame my face.

I went off prescriptions a few years back and have just been using CVS’s Clearasil knockoff…err, generic…(the benzoyl peroxide one) to keep things under control. Sometimes I used a moisturizer, depending on what the acne cream did to my skin.

I ran out a couple weeks ago and was just too lazy/cheap/frugal/something to pick up another tube. And you know what? I haven’t noticed a difference. My skin has pretty much settled down (though those who’ve met me can attest to the subtle scarring *sigh*). I think it’s actually pretty healthy as long as it’s not having various creams rubbed all over it.

I use a simple CVS knockoff (generic) of Dove Sensitive Skin moisturizing soap or somesuch to clean it in the mornings and evenings. Periodically, I grab Mr. Micah’s tube of the same acne cream (he’s got much better skin, but it seems to do ok for him) and use it.

Everything seems fine so far.

Acne cream probably would have gone on the list of things I could give up in an emergency. As it turns out, I don’t need it anyway.

This week consider looking at the little things in your life which you can live without but thought were helpful. Reevaluate them. Let me know if you come up with anything similar!

P.S. Wouldn’t it be ironic if my face reads this and stages a rebellion?


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Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life / Use it, don’t lose it!
December 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

SavingDiva December 6, 2007 at 1:36 pm

I find that my skin doesn’t flare up unless I’m under stress. I just need to treat my skin well…and baby it with sensitive skin formulas.

mrsmicah December 6, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Ironically, I just got one of those “lip pimples”…they’re small but just on the edge of your lip and you can’t ignore them. So I borrowed Micah’s acne cream and we’ll see what happens. I knew this would happen. πŸ˜›

My face likes “sensitive skin” soaps and such. I inherited really tetchy skin.

chitown December 6, 2007 at 2:05 pm

I cannot do without my proactiv and it is very expensive.

mrsmicah December 6, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Proactiv is definitely expensive stuff–though it seems to work. I used the CVS acne cream and a simple moisturizer to get a similar result. I don’t know if it would work for you, but it’s worth a shot.

Mrs. Nathan December 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Ahhh, skincare…funny you should mention it (as I’m trying desperately to procrastinate doing grad work! he he!)

Mr. Nathan is neurotic about his skin (though in reality it is almost flawless) and in the past has spend endless amounts of money on pills and creams that didn’t do much. We did the Proactiv route for him and has worked pretty well. However, in order to order from Proactiv they automatically sign you up for some club where they send you re-fills every other month (way more often than you need it). I didn’t realize we were members of aforementioned club and when I saw we were being charged for the products I tried to shut it down. They made it very, very, very difficult for me to cancel and we still ended up getting charged $60 somehow. GRRRR. In the future, we will just buy refills as needed in the Christiana Mall. So yay for nice skin but boo for Proactiv!

Mrs. Nathan December 6, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Yikes! Look at those errors in my last post. My career as a proofreader is over. *hangs head*

mrsmicah December 6, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I have a hard time proofreading my own writing too. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

Nathan used to have some skin unhappiness like I did when I was a teen. But it’s soo much better now.

Ashley December 6, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Strange thing about my skin: about two weeks ago I was sick with a cold or something and only drank water. (And lots of it). While I was sick, my skin was extremely clear. I don’t understand this.

(My skin isn’t that bad now, but it used to be). I only use the clearasil cleansing pad thingies once a day. And that’s it. I found that using moisturizer and other products (or any dove product which is strange) made my skin worse. Oh, and the water in the town I’m in for college hates my skin as well. That’s why I use the pad thingies and nothing that requires water.

mrsmicah December 6, 2007 at 4:33 pm

It’s strange, Ashley, but I’ve also had some pretty respectable products that make my skin bad. Some things just aren’t right for some people.

Kyle December 6, 2007 at 5:16 pm

I like the bigger subject of your post. Typically the only way to figure out what you really need is to give it up and see if it affects ya very much. I did this with our Satellite TV package, and guess what, turns out I don’t need 150 channels when 35 suits me just fine. $20 less a month!

Hilda December 6, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Latte! I meet weekly with a friend at a Starbucks and I usually get a specialty drink.

Well, I’m not giving up our meeting but I now get just regular coffee, which is about 2 bucks cheaper than latte.

dawn December 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Our friends and family thought we were nuts when we gave up our cell phones a few years back… but we have so not missed them one bit. It is kind of a stress reliever to not be 24/7 accessible to everyone. We also dumped the cable television… which I thought might be a struggle for the hubby, but he adapted really quickly. We truly can live very well with a lot less than we think we can πŸ™‚

thebaglady December 7, 2007 at 2:07 am

eventually acne will go away. I used to have horrible acne, too, but I found that aging helps.

frugal zeitgeist December 7, 2007 at 7:41 am

Gah. I’m prone to adult acne, although I’ve been very, very lucky not to have any scarring. I’ve had a lot of success with cleocin and Retin-A Micro for daily maintenance, and Duac for flare-ups. I visit the dermatologist every year, and I also drink a lot of water and herbal tea every day.

I get a lot of compliments on my skin, so I guess it’s working.

sfordinarygirl December 9, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I used to buy Neutrogena’s on the spot but that little tube was getting expensive! And it goes fast!

You should try checking out the http://www.acne.org site and check out his regimen. Tt works wonders. It’s a bit time consuming but it works. And he sells a big bottle of 2.5% BP for $8, which has lasted more than year so far. Over time that bottle is cheaper than the individual tubes of Neutrogena I used to buy and cuts down on plastic. =)

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